Best Drama Movies of 1917
An European immigrant endures a challenging voyage only to get into trouble as soon as he arrives in New York.
The Poor Little Rich Girl
Gwen's family is rich, but her parents ignore her and most of the servants push her around, so she is lonely and unhappy. Her father is concerned only with making money, and her mother cares only about her social position. But one day a servant's irresponsibility creates a crisis that causes everyone to rethink what is important to them.
The Eye of Envy
In Sleepy Hollow dwells a young blacksmith who, when not happily making horseshoes, is courting a village maiden.
The Pride of the Clan
Donald MacTavish, the last chieftain of his clan on an island off the coast of Scotland, dies at sea. This leaves his only daughter, Marget, to assume the responsibilities of leadership. Marget's burden is partially eased by her blossoming romance with Jamie Campbell. But there is a secret from Jamie's past that neither of them know about.
Polly of the Circus
When circus aerialist Polly Fisher is injured, she is taken to the nearby home of minister John Hartley. The two fall in love and marry secretly. But when the news leaks out, the minister loses his pastorate over disdain by the parishioners for Polly's background as a performer. Polly must decide whether to stay with the man she loves or leave him for the good of his calling.
Lost and Won
A newswoman meets a man who has bet his colleagues he can make her beautiful.
An Even Break
Claire Curtis, Jimmie Strong and Mary have spent their childhood together in the country. Upon reaching adulthood, Claire goes to New York and becomes a success on stage. Jimmie, who has always dreamed of becoming an inventor, goes to New York to sell the machine he invented, and there he renews his acquaintance with Claire. Soon their old friendship ripens into love. Meanwhile, back in the country, Ralph and David Harding, who are making Jimmie's machine, plan to steal the right to it. Back in New York, Mary appears and informs Claire that she loves Jimmie, and the actress resolves to give her a chance to win him. When it appears that the Hardings' scheme to steal Jimmie's machine will succeed, however, Mary's ardor turns cold. Claire and Jimmie then rush back to the country in time to avert the takeover and save his firm from bankruptcy.
June a young orphan is befriended by Perry Boscam when he shares his lunch with her on the road to Rising Sun to take over his father's saw mill. The soon fall in love and marry only to find out that a women in Perry's past has come to town to make trouble. Teaming up with the local political bully they set out to make Perry's life miserable.. but June sticks by her husband to the end.
Madame Du Barry
The picture shows Jeanette (Thelda Bara) becoming the mistress of the ambitious Jean DuBarry (Herschel Mayall) who marries her off to one of his cousins so that she has an entree to the court. She soon becomes the favorite of the King (Charles Clary) and Jean DuBarry becomes a regular around the Court too. But all this is disturbed when Madame DuBarry falls for Conte Brissac of the King's Guard (Fred Church). DuBarry's attempts to expose her affair only get him banished from the court.
The Woman in White
The lead Florence La Badie plays dual roles. Clever editing is used for the scene where her two characters meet. La Badie, however, does appear twice within a scene via superimposition, but that's in a flashback-within-a-mirror scene. There are a couple such scenes where La Badie's reflection in the mirror reflects her reflective melancholy mood.
Wild and Woolly
A rich Easterner who has always wanted to live in "the Wild West" plans to move to a Western town. Unknown to him, the town's "wild" days are long gone and it is an orderly and civilized place now. The townsmen, not wanting to lose a rich potential resident, contrive to make over the town to suit the young man's fantasy.
Spies from Japan conspire to steal the Channing "preparedness" fortune and invade the United States, beginning in New York, then allying themselves with Mexicans across the border. They are stopped by the efforts of munitions factory heiress Patria Channing and U.S. Secret Service agent Donald Parr.
The Little American
A young American has her ship torpedoed by a German U-boat but makes it back to her ancestral home in France, where she witnesses German brutality firsthand.
A Romance of the Redwoods
A young girl travels west to live with her uncle during the California Gold Rush only to find that he has been killed by Indians and his identity assumed by an outlaw.
The story of Cleopatra, the fabulous queen of Egypt, and the epic romances between her and the greatest men of Rome, Julius Caesar and Antony.
William S. Hart was the great solitary Western hero of silent film who rode his horse off to new adventures once his job was done. In WOLF LOWRY, he meets a young settler played by Margery Wilson, herself a director in the early 1920s whose films are all considered lost.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917) is a silent film directed by Marshall Neilan based upon the novel Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin. This version is notable for having been adapted by famed female screenwriter Frances Marion. The film was made by the "Mary Pickford Company" and was an acclaimed box office smash.
In the film, Cunard plays a jewel thief pursuing the same wealthy marks as another thief, played by Francis Ford.
The Secret Game
In the office of Major Northfield, the quartermaster of the Pacific Coast, a leak has been discovered which may endanger the safety of American transports that are secretly carrying troops across the Pacific. Nara-Nara, a Japanese detective, is assigned to the case because his country has guaranteed safety to these transport ships. Nara-Nara believes that Northfield is guilty, although in reality it is Northfield's secretary Kitty Little, a girl of German ancestry, who is passing information to Dr. Ebell Smith, a German agent. Nara-Nara falls in love with Kitty, but soon after discovers that she is the leak in the quartermaster's office.
Jean Valjean, a good and decent man who has committed a minor crime, is imprisoned but escapes. He is pursued thereafter for years by Javert, the cruel and implacable arm of the law.
The Polish Dancer
A wild young girl runs away from her parents' house to support herself and attracts the attentions of a married man, who is prepared to abandon his wife and child for her.
The story of the training of a racehorse, the Whip, of the amnesiac nobleman who loves the horse, and of the villains who attempt to keep it from racing.
Until They Get Me
In an effort to reach his wife's deathbed, Kirby is forced to kill a man in self-defense. He is arrested by Selwyn, a member of the North West Mounted Police, who allows him to say a last farewell to his wife. After visiting his wife's deathbed, Kirby eludes Selwyn and becomes a fugitive from the police. Each year he returns to visit his son and, during one of his sojourns, meets Margy, a little farmhouse servant who has run away from her life of drudgery.
One Touch of Nature
Bill Cosgrove, a hot new rookie for the New York Giants, hits a cold streak during the deciding game of the World's Series.
Revolutionary War heroine Betsy Ross finds herself in competition with her sister for the affections of a British soldier.
Silent version of the Twain tale, filmed in Pleasanton, California. A Missouri boy (Jack Pickford) encounters his first love (Clara Horton) and bucks responsibilities to find adventure with his friend, Huck Finn (Robert Gordon).
A Tale of Two Cities
At the outbreak of the French Revolution, Charles Darnay goes to Paris to rescue an imprisoned former family servant. He is himself imprisoned and condemned by the revolutionary forces there. His wife, the former Lucie Manette, is secretly loved by a gentlemanly wastrel, Sydney Carton. Carton embarks on a daring plan to save the husband of the woman he loves.
The Scarlet Car
Paul Revere Forbes, an ancestor of Paul Revere, is a teller at Cyrus Peabody's bank. He learns that Cyrus and his son, Ernest, have speculated with $35,000 of the bank's money, and the entire sum has been lost.
Mothers of Men
Dorothy Davenport as Clara Madison, a prominent lawyer, wins a judgeship over fellow Attorney Grant Williams, played by Willis L. Robards. Upon winning the prominent position as judge, Ms. Madison finds herself walking a political tight rope with enemies all around doing what they can to cause her down fall. Judge Madison convicts a murderer to death paving the way for her to be easily elected as the first female Governor. As Governor she is faced with a difficult dilemma. She has the power to pardon her husband who has been convicted of a serious crime, but to do so she’d be using her office for her own personal gain. “I must find some way to realize my ideals without sacrificing my husband. I must struggle on somehow for the sake of womanhood!”
The Black Stork
A young man and woman are considering marriage; eugenicist Harry J Haiselden warns that they are ill-matched and will produce defective offspring. He is right; their baby is born defective, dies quickly and floats into heaven.
Womanhood, the Glory of the Nation
When the nation of Ruthania declares war on the United States, an army of enemy soldiers invades the U.S. and captures New York. But the American forces have prepared adequately for such an event, and hidden booby traps, trick fortifications, and remote-controlled bombs...
The Devil Stone
Fishermaid Marcia Manot finds an emerald which once belonged to a Norse queen and is cursed. Greedy American Silas Martin marries her, then sets her up for divorce. She kills him and weds his business manager Sterling, but a detective learns about Silas' death.
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
A doctor's wife is arrested for educating impoverished women about birth control.
The Fires of Youth
The Thanhouser Co. has reissued a number of its surviving films on video. FIRES OF YOUTH existed at around 52 minutes in its original release. A shortened version running just over 31 minutes has survived at the George Eastman House and has now been released by Thanhouser. Jeanne Eagels does well as the neglected young daughter in a factory town. She appears in 22 scenes and delivers a sensitive performance.
National Red Cross Pageant
The National Red Cross Pageant (1917) was an American war pageant that was performed in order to sell war bonds, support the National Red Cross, and promote a positive opinion about American involvement in World War I.
The Gulf Between
A young woman, who is the daughter of a sea captain, falls in love with a man from a rich family who does not approve of her.
Castles for Two
An American heiress who goes to Ireland meets a bankrupt lord. She switches places with her maid to avoid fortune hunters.
The Babes in the Woods
A story within a story, including a passage from Hansel and Gretel.
The Cold Deck
Gambler "On-the Level" Leigh (William S. Hart) is forced to leave his high rolling lifestyle to move his ailing sister Alice (Mildred Harris) to the healing climate the mountains. Financial strain compels him to resume his favored vocation. Unfortunately for Level, the dance hall girl Coralie (Alma Rubens) doesn't take rejection well and convinces the dealer to clean him out with a "cold deck". A desperate robbery ensues, leading to Level wanted for murder!
Arriving with her husband in Arabia, Katherine Wyvrne is ready for romantic times in the exotic Middle East, but her aristocratic husband prefers to be out hunting "Barbara sheep" than fulfilling his wife's desires. She soon meets up with the dashing Arab chief Benchaalai and falls for his charms, but he has a much more sinister goal in mind for her than romance.
A young girl is trying to live an honest life in a crooked city. Caught up with a crook that might be the son of a millionaire and other crooked people, she must attempt to reform things, or at least one person.
Lillian Vale is the naïve and unworldly daughter of minister Josiah Vale. Swept off her feet by handsome Robert Powers, Lillian marries him, unaware that he is constitutionally incapable of fidelity. Led astray by vampish Hattie Lee, Powers follows his new paramour to the Big City -- the first of several bad decisions which culminate in disaster for the errant hero.
The Flame of Youth
James Gordon, Sr., owner of the Gordon syndicate, dispatches his roughneck son Jimmy to investigate why production has fallen off in his opal mine on an island off the coast of lower California. After an argument with his fiancée, socialite Lucy Andrews, Jimmy leaves for the island where he is met by Juan, McCool's servant who, along with Jasper Sneedham, has been cheating the company. On the launch, Juan tries to eliminate Jimmy by hitting him over the head, but the lad escapes and swims to shore where he is rescued by Sneedham's stepdaughter Nadine. Nadine takes Jimmy to the hut of mine foreman Fred Haimer, the only honest man on the island.
The Girl Without a Soul
The story of two young sisters, one a somewhat demure musician who is in love with a scoundrel who's no good for her, and the other a wild, free spirit who is the object of a shy young carpenter's affections.
The Spirit of '76
Catherine Montour, a striking half-breed Indian princess, and mistress of King George III aspires to become the first Queen of America when the revolution breaks out.
Young Mother Hubbard
Forced by the death of her mother to care for her three brothers and sisters, little Mona Fairfax is known to farmers of her district as Young Mother Hubbard. The children's step-father, heavily in debt and tired of the burden imposed by the little family, abandons his farm, leaving the children, penniless, to shift for themselves. The following day Daniel Banning, a wealthy "country gentleman" and owner of the Fairfax farm, calls to collect back rent. He finds Mona and her children panic-stricken over a note left by their step-father, telling of his decision to leave. Banning turns a deaf ear to Mona's pleas that she be allowed to remain on the farm with her wards. He notifies the Children's Welfare Society. Directors of the society go to the farm, load them into an automobile, and take them to the society's headquarters. At headquarters the chairman calls for volunteers to take the children into their homes.
This melodrama about an actress in love with a playwright and the stage manager blackmailing her for her affections offers a unique glimpse into Chaney’s career before his classic performances in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera.
A Girl of the Timber Claims
A 1917 film directed by Paul Powell.
The Hater of Men
Convinced that her impending marriage to fellow reporter Billy Williams will result in a loss of her freedom, Janice breaks her engagement and enters a period of Bohemian living.
The Bad Boy
Small town youth Jimmie Bates is a well-intentioned, but troubled youth. Jimmie is a rowdy boy who is always getting into trouble and playing pranks on his friends and neighbors. Although deeply in love with young Mary, he eventually spurns Mary's affection for the more outgoing and worldly young Ruth.